Ark Lodge Cinemas

4816 Rainier Avenue South,
Seattle, WA 98118

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Ark Lodge Cinemas

Located in renovated Masonic Lodge dating from 1921, the Regency Revival style has Ionic columns on the facade of the building. Theater is located in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle, and is a neighborhood gathering place. Many of the showings are first run, with some opening in this theater on the same night as the big chains. Children and family oriented films were often shown during daytime and out-of-school time hours. The 204-seat Columbia City Cinema was closed on May 5, 2011.

It was re-opened on December 8, 2012 as the Ark Lodge Cinemas. The new name was given to pay homage to the historic aspect of the building’s former use as a Masonic Lodge, and to differentiate it from the original Columbia City Theater which is now a recording studio and live music entertainment event venue, and was the original movie theater of the historic landmark district of Columbia City in Seattle. The Ark Lodge Cinemas is now owned by the McRea family; husband & wife Robert B. McRea, Elia C. MCrea, and son David A. McRea.

Now equipped with digital projection it screens first run movies. Screen 1 has a seating capacity for 200. It was originally the Alter Room on the second floor of the building, and became the original theatre in the building created by Paul Doyle. Screen 2 has seating for 115, and is located on the main floor of the building and is ADA accessible. Screen 3 has seating for 85, also on the main floor of the building and is ADA accessible.

Contributed by Rhonda Berry

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

CSWalczak on December 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

The owner of the this theater is now hoping to raise desperately needed cash by selling the theater’s seats: View link

DavidZornig on February 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

One would think the State Of Washington would offer alternative fund raising avenues, after shutting down the plan theater owners came up with. There must be some mixed use funding available, incorporating use by one of the nearby schools or something.

CSWalczak on May 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

The theater owner has given up the struggle to keep the theater open and is closing it as of May 5, 2011: View link.

kjb2012 on July 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Well the government always wins out because they have the guns. It’s pretty clear that the owner didn’t have “money” to be good to the Mayor. You know the old saying “be good to the Mayor and Mayor will be good to you.”

KenLayton on July 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

The City of Seattle plays hardball with regulations. I remember when the Parkway Plaza 12 was being built. The electrical inspector required the contractor to wire ALL the surround speakers in conduit all the way to each individual speaker’s terminals! Same for the screen speakers too. I guess they were worried about the speaker wire catching fire?

CSWalczak on December 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

An effort has been launched to reopen this theater:

CSWalczak on October 24, 2012 at 12:37 am

The Columbia City has a new operator; it is expected to reopen in early 2013 as the Ark Lodge Cinemas with the previous building code violations corrected. View article

CSWalczak on December 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm

The theater will be opening earlier than originally planned under a limited-usage basis with a “Lord of the Rings” marathon on Dec. 8, 2012: View article

ArkLodgeCinemas on February 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm


We have made it happen! The Columbia City Cinema is gone, but we are very proud to say that The Ark Lodge Cinemas is here to stay! We have received full occupancy and have satisfied the City of Seattle, DPD and most importantly the SFD and can say we have turned the historic former Masonic Lodge building into a safe and secure venue for its Columbia City Citizens and neighbors to come watch first run films in digital projection and sound! We want to humbly thank everyone involved in getting the theater reopened and especially thank the Citizens of Columbia City for never giving up the dream of having their neighborhood theater back! Sincerely- Robert B. McRae, Elia C. McRae, and David A. McRae, proud new owners of the Ark Lodge Cinemas.

Trolleyguy on July 15, 2016 at 8:06 am

Functions should include: Movies (film festivals and independent)

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